Rose heard it. She heard the sound she had thought she would never know again, not since that day when she had said goodbye to him. She ran through the corridors from her office forgetting in her haste all the dignity she should have shown as head of Torchwood, London. All she knew was that he was here and she was going to make sure he never left her again. They had been wrenched apart by fate but this time she would be with him to her death, whatever it took. All those years Rose believed she had gotten over him, accepted her life here in this dimension, they meant nothing. She skidded round the corner almost falling over. She quickly grabbed the door handle to steady herself, brushed down her suit and walked in the room. She let out a short gasp unsure of how to react. The familiar shape of the TARDIS its exterior that of an old-fashioned police call box. She walked forward and tentatively stretched out her hand, her fingers barely touching the surface of the ship when suddenly there was a click. Rose stepped back drawing in her hand quickly the sense of anticipation making her almost tremble. The door swung open. A great cloud of smoke poured out of the TARDIS.
“Doctor,” she mouthed, her throat suddenly dry unable to think of what to say.
There was a scuffling sound and a strangely dressed stranger staggered out of the haze. He wore a crumpled and slightly singed velvet jacket and torn fawn trousers. He looked up at her pleadingly with his deep emerald eyes and brought one hand to his chest and the other to his head.
“Please, you’ve got to help me,” he asked, his voice breathless and weak.
“Who are you?”
“I’m the Doctor,” he let out a cry of pain. “Help me, I beg you. I think I’m dy-,”
The man who claimed to be the Doctor collapsed on the floor unconscious. Rose knelt down beside him her hand laid gently on his chest. She could feel his double heartbeat slowly fading. She quickly sprung into action.
“Get a medic in here quickly! This man is hurt!”
Rose watched through the Perspex window of the ward. Torchwood had its own onsite infirmary in case of emergencies. The Doctor’s chest moved up and down -oxygen mask over his face- as the machine to his right beeped the steady rhythm of his double heartbeat. Mickey stood beside her and rested his hand gently on her shoulder.
“Is it really him,” he asked.
It was the question Rose had been dying to put to the stranger but he was in a deep coma.
“I don’t know.”
“He has the TARDIS…you still have the key.”
She suddenly realised she had been playing with the key she always kept on a chain round her neck like a talisman. Rose lifted it up to her face and turned it round in the light.
“Would it work? What if it isn’t-, or he isn’t-,”
“There’s only two ways to find out, and he’s not going to wake up for a while.”
She bit her lip, looked round at Mickey and then back at the man lying in the infirmary bed and made a decision.
In the vast storage room sat the TARDIS its police box form all at once looking out of place and at the same time like it had always been there. Rose slid the key into the lock -it fitted- and turned it with a familiar click. She tentatively pushed the door open and stepped in. She let out a short gasp when she saw the state of the console room. The mock Edwardian interior was burnt and peeling revealing the charred roundels behind. The place was in disarray with broken furniture strewn about and a huge chunk of the console itself was melted. The stench of burning plastic could be smelt still. Rose stepped over the threshold, Mickey following her in charred detritus crunching under their feet.
“This place is a mess,” commented Mickey, picking up a piece if the debris before throwing it back down.
“I wonder what happened,” asked Rose, quietly.
“A big explosion, coming from the console. The Doctor probably overloaded the circuits or something. You know how he’s always tinkering.”
“Yes. He was.”